My apologies to one and all. This book review feature was scheduled for two weeks ago, which would have provided readers with more time to order books as a Christmas gift. Sadly, computers being what they are, they often choose to take a vacation when we least expect. So my computer crashed and we just got it fixed.


TITLE: The American Rowboat Motor

AUTHOR: Arlan Carter
PUBLISHER:
Fall Creek Publishing Company
DISTRIBUTOR:
Fall Creek Publishing Company


CONTACT:
Fall Creek Publishing Company, PO Box 107, Fall Creek. WI 54742
PHONE: (800) 695-6017
COST
$39.90
COMMENT Hardcover. 400 pages, 8 ½ X 11-inch format, patent drawings, period advertising, 80 pages on the Evinrude Company, and more than 40 manufacturers represented book description

This book by renowned author Arlan Carter covers the gamut of early outdoor motors from the beginning of gas-powered motors. Many photos and advertisements are in color, The first outboard motor isn’t one that is easily recognized today.

The  information says, the first outboard motor manufactured in the United States was patented in Nov. 22, 1902, originally from Chicago. It had a motor that was independent of the rudder. The complete outfit  weighed 35 pounds and ran off a battery. It was known as an engine that could be started by pushing a button.

The first internal combustion gasoline outboard was made by American Motor Company. This engine was produced from 1862 through April 2, 1924, and it’s believed that the company is thought to have produced 25 engines, and was capable of making speeds “six or eight miles per hour”.

The book thoroughly covers such early outboard engines as

  • Arrow
  • Caille
  • Evinrude
  • Motorow
  • No-Ro-Imperial
  • Cammpbell
  • Cyclone
  • Elto
  • Gilmore
  • A. L. Kriderm Lockwood-Ash
  • Racine Burroughs
  • St. Lawrence
  • Viking
  • Wright and many others

This is the most in-depth look at the early days of the outboard motor. This is a fascinating history of the outboard engine, and would serve any outboard motor collector well. It offers a wonderful look at the background of our marine engines.


TITLE: Billy Barnstorm: The Birch Lake Bomber & Other Tales of Youthful Disaster

AUTHOR: Joel M. Vance
PUBLISHER:
Cedar Glade Press
DISTRIBUTOR:
Cedar Glade Press

CONTACT:
  Cedar Glade Press, PO Bix 1664, Jefferson City, MO 65102. $18.99 postpaid.
WEBSITE:
http://www.joelvance.com
COST
$18.99 postpaid

The author is one of my favorite people. He can be funny without trying, and in this paperback book, his outlandish and sometimes weird sense of comedy comes jumping to the surface like one of the largemouth he caught as a lad.. This book speaks to Vance’s youth and the various mischief he and his collaborators got into while spending time near Birch Lake, Wisconsin, more than a half-century ago.

I dislike making comparisons because it’s usually not fair to one or both of those being compared, but reading Joel Vance’s newest book reminds me of reading early humor books written by Patrick McManus. ‘Course, being as I know both authors, I feel a fine and honest comparison can be made.

Vance’s humor could make a wooden cigar store Indian laugh. In this unique collection of humor about he and his youthful friends, you’ll meet some of his zany friends. There are 14 chapters, excellent b/w drawings by Bruce Cochran. This is guaranteed to please anyone jaded by holiday shopping, and makes a perfect Christmas gift.


TITLE: The Windward Shore: A Winter On The Great Lakes

AUTHOR: Jerry Dennis
PUBLISHER:
University of Michigan Press,
DISTRIBUTOR:
University of Michigan Press

CONTACT: 
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI
WEBSITE:
http://www.press.umich.edu
COST $22.95 plus postage from the publisher
COMMENT: This hardcover book with dust jacket, also features the delightful work of artist Glenn Wolff, also of Traverse City, Michigan, whose drawings have graced the pages of other of Dennis’ work.

Jerry Dennis  is a natural treasure, and he keeps writing new and more wonderful books. Fitting him into a specific category can be a bit difficult because he is at once, an outdoor writer, a conservationist, a nature lover, a dreamer, who develops words of magic that capture the soul and spirit of those of us lucky enough to live near the Great Lakes.

A knee injury slowed him down, and in so doing, allowed him the time to “present a true picture of a complex region, part of my continuing project to learn one place on earth reasonably well ,” and this is what he’s accomplished with this book.

Winter around Lake Michigan may hardly seem a great topic for a book, but once Dennis sank his teeth into this tasty morsel that he and I both call home, and the result is the magic of this book about the area, the lives of nearby inhabitants, and stories painted by word pictures about this snow and ice-bound area. He teaches us about living in a log cabin along Lake Superior, more about desolate and wind-swept beaches, the power and the magnetic pull a winter storm has on those of us who stay here all winter rather than heading south with other snowbirds.

Dennis gracefully takes us along with him as we plod along frozen shorelines, listen as the surf pounds at shelves of ice, and we hear and feel the moan of an angry wind as it lashes the North County. We see, feel, hear, taste and touch winter along the Great Lakes, and we rejoice with the author as he examines everything about winter in this area.

It’s a book to be read, laid aside, and go back to read certain passages that stick in our mind as we indulge in becoming one with the winter wind, watch snow and ice in a swirl of sensory perceptions. A truly wonderful read by a favorite author.


TITLE: Deer Hunting 4th edition

AUTHOR: Richard P. Smith
PUBLISHER:
Stackpole Books
DISTRIBUTOR:
Stackpole Books

CONTACT:
Stackpole Books
WEBSITE:
http://www.stackpolebooks.com
eMAIL: sales@stackpolebooks.com 
PHONE:
 (800) 732-3669
COST:
$29.95
COMMENT: Paperbound, 448 pages, 297 color photos and 40 years of deer hunting experience from this writer

Richard P. Smith’s name is well known in Michigan and other states and Canadian provinces for his knowledge about bear and deer hunting. His books on deer hunting are many, and all are different. They give readers who own them all, everything the author knows about deer hunting.

Read closely and you’ll see that Smith acknowledges me, but not because I taught him anything mystical about bear and deer hunting. I helped him land his first book (also by Stackpole Books) many years ago and helped with a gentle shove into getting into outdoor writing. He deserves all the praise for this and his 20-odd books.

Smith’s ability to shoot quality photos has kept him very busy for the 30-some years he has been working at this trade. He is more knowledgable about many things that deer do, and many of his secrets are shared in this book.

It is chockfull of tips that can spell the difference between success and failure on a deer hunt, whether here in Michigan or across North America. On the ground, up a tree, stalking, still-hunting, or however you choose to hunt, Smith has most of the answers outlined in great detail in this book.

This is a heavy book, and rightfully so because it is filled to the gunwales with the superb color photos Smith uses to illustrate his books and magazine articles. This book is a keeper, and make no mistake about that. Read and learn. Smith makes it easy.


TITLE: Brook Trout & The Writing Life

AUTHOR: Craig Nova
PUBLISHER:
Eno Publishers
DISTRIBUTOR: 
Eno Publishers

CONTACT: 
Eno Publishers, Hillsborough, NC
WEBSITE:
http://www.enopublishers.org
COST: $15.95

I’m a sucker for anything written about brook trout. I consider them the most beautiful and precious of all the trout, and I often wax poetic when writing about them. They make it easy because brookies and I share certain commonalities: we love cold water, wild places, and occasionally difficult places to fish. There are places where big brook trout live, but they are seldom common catches once they grow to lunker size.

I’ve caught brook trout throughout the East, Midwest, in some high mountain western lakes, and across much of Canada. They are found in three primary sizes: midgets, legal size and lunker. Regardless of size, the terrain and geography of where they are caught is part of the allure of this beaufitully spotted game fish.

Nova is a wonderful writer, one seemingly destined to write about these fish. The book tells of the intermingling of fishing and writing in a novelist’s life. This book is well written by a writer who knows brook trout, is excited by any opportunity angle for then, and truly knows brook trout and writing..

This memoir speaks to the uncertainty of writing for a living, which most writers experience early in the game, and writing with the singular notion of writing about just one fish species. He transitions well from fishing to writing about other matters in his life, and he makes it work with a bright and lively well-paced book that is filled with the beauty of the written word. An autobiography I found spellbinding.


TITLE: Young Beginners Guide To Shooting & Archery: Tips For Gun & Bow

AUTHOR: W. H. (Chip) Gross
PUBLISHER:
Creative Publishing International
DISTRIBUTOR:
Creative Publishing International

CONTACT:
Creative Publishing International, Minneapolis, MN
WEBSITE:
http://www.creativepub.com
PHONE: (800) 328-3895
COST: $15.99

Most books written for children talk down to the kids, which can build resentment. The author worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and is responsible for having taught many children how to fish and hunt. Gross has a particular interest in safe hunting because he lost an eye in a hunting accident.

This book covers all the bases when it comes to hunting with a bow or firearm, and it is covered adequately and in sufficient depth to make it meaningful to children. It is liberally sprinkled with color photos.

I spent 20 years as the outdoor writer for The Detroit News, and one of my primary duties each fall was to put on Michigan’s largest Hunter Education program. Gross has done the same for the  Ohio DNR, and it’s impossible to work with a large number of kids without learning how to get along with them and to make their training something they will remember the rest of their lives.

Gross takes us step by step through the process of safely learning how to hunt with bow and firearm, how to achieve better accuracy, and most important of all, how to enjoy a safe hunting trip.

Share This Post